Indexes rise in early trading on Wall Street

By the Associated Press | March 7, 2013 | 10:29 AM EST

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2013, file photo, Maureen Smaldone, a trader for Brendan E. Cryan and Company, monitors trading activity from her workstation at the New York Stock Exchange. The positive mood in financial markets showed few signs of abating Thursday March 7, 2013 ahead of policy statements from Europe's top two central banks. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising in early trading on Wall Street after the government reported another decrease in the number of people applying for unemployment benefits.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 35 points to 14,331 shortly after the opening bell Thursday. The index broke through its previous all-time high on Tuesday and is headed for a fifth straight gain.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose three points to 1,544. That index is about 1 percent below its own record high.

The Nasdaq composite rose three points to 3,225.

The Labor Department said that the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell by 7,000 last week, driving the four-week average to the lowest point in five years.

Kroger's stock jumped 4 percent after the grocery store chain beat analysts' earnings estimates.